Crochet and baking

Well, another week has gone by and we have more boxes filled for moving day. Doing some crochet in the evening helps me to unwind. I think it's the rhythm of forming the stitches and counting as I'm going along. I find myself counting..... 1, 2, 3, 4.....1, 2,.......1 2 3 4.....1, 2. It sounds a bit mental but it works for me.  I've been working on a gift for the new owners of our house. It may not be to their taste, but it sort of feels a bit symbolic to give them something made in our home for their new home. I decided to make a tea light and vase set. It sound's a bit grand, but it is just a few jam jars covered with some crochet. I made them as a present before and they went down so well that this is a repeat performance, which of course makes it a lot easier to do. I used some lambswool in a natural/light brown colour which was left over from a jumper I made a few years ago. Waste not want not and all that! It actually is perfect for the job because it has a chunky rustic look to it. As mentioned before, I've been using a pattern from a magazine I bought in the summer - 'Your Crochet Home'. It does need to be adapted to fit your jam jars, though. At the risk of appearing a lady of leisure and not in the middle of a frantic packing period, I spent a happy half hour in the garden in the sun  taking photo's as I went along. Here's how I do it........

For this example I used small pesto jars. The first step is to make the base starting with a slip loop with 6 dc for the first row, 12 on the next, 18 on the next and so-on.

 Check that the base will fit the jam jar.

The next stage is to double crochet into the back of each stitch without increasing. This makes a little ridge which squares off the base ready for the cover to grow up the jar.

Then I did a row of trebles and this helps to firmly seat the jar inside the cover and hide the tea light candle. The pesto jars have bulbous bit at the bottom, so after the row of trebles I did a row of double crochet and decreased a few stitches along the row so that the cover would fit snugly.

Now the lacy pattern starts. This particular pattern is just 5 chains, miss 3 double crochet, slip stitch into the next dc then 5 chains. This is continued all the way round. When the round is completed, slip stitch to the centre of the 5 chain loop and then complete the next round with 5 chains, and slip stitch into the centre chain of the previous row 5 chain. 

The next step is a bit more tricky because the crochet cover is now a bit of a sloppy joe and we want it to be stretched out and snug to the rim of the jar. To do this I just had 2 chains and a slip stitch to the top of each 5 chain loop. This made it really quite tight and hard to slip onto the jar, particularly as this jar narrows towards the rim. In reality, this took a bit of trial and error, and you don't have to be afraid of undoing and altering a row when necessary. Now to finish off the rim which of course meant wriggling it off again to do a row of double crochet, then trebles and then a final row of double crochet. I didn't have time to finish it in the afternoon sun so the rest is sitting in front of the telly in the evening.

The Hoorah moment........

The funny bit about the garden tutorial was that I was photo bombed by the cat...... and what was even worse was that he was doing a mouse massacre! You can probably see a coating of feather's on the lawn. We are pretty sure it was not an exploding pigeon, but you can't be sure....

Quick pic of Sunday tea cake

Mmmmm chocolate cake

Oooh.... I nearly forgot. I'm pretty sure that none of the children will have read this far, so here is a sneak peak of the santa special for this year.